Over the summer I wrote about RVing on a budget. In that article I shared that my family fulltime RVs. RVing fulltime might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think there are valuable lessons to be learned when living simply. Here are some of the lessons I have learned about living the small lifestyle.
Now, there are some REALLY fancy RVs. You can easily pay six figures for a coach, but that is not necessary. One thing I always notice when visiting folks in “sticks and bricks” is their house size. Many people we are friends with have large homes. When you live in a home that is 400 square feet you come to realize 2500 is a LOT of space. Do you really need that space? Is the price you’re paying monthly on the mortgage and utilities really worth it?
Just consider your space. Is every square foot of space serving a purpose? That doesn’t mean you have to have lots of stuff to fill in the blanks! Less is more in so many areas of life, but each square foot of space carries a monetary value. Consider that value and the interest you’re paying over 30 years for that space.
Let Things Go
When you live in a small space you do not have the space to collect needless things. As Americans, we find it very easy to spend money on a storage shed across town rather than go through all those items and decide if you need to keep them or pass them on.
Again, things are valuable. They are an expense to buy, but they are also an expense to keep! If you’re paying for that storage shed, you really should make sure it is for stuff worth the monthly shed investment. It’s okay to let things go. With the popularity of social media, it is easy to list items for sale. You don’t have to just give everything away. It’s also okay not to keep everything “just in case”. For the cost of the shed you can replace a lot of things.
Everything Has Its Place
In small living everything must have its own place. If this does not happen, you will most likely drive yourself bananas. This is how your home, whether RV or small sticks and bricks, will not feel so overwhelmingly small. We have five people living in our RV. If we don’t put stuff away, it will get hectic incredibly quickly. Do you really need all the fancy gadgets? Which ones can you live without? Don’t overstuff just because you have to live in a small space. That is missing the heart of minimalism.
What is Your Why?
In our American culture, it is often a choice to live the minimal life. It can be easy to be discourage by seeing all the things the “Jones” have. If you have chosen to be minimalist, or even if you are out of necessity, what is your goal and how is this lifestyle going to help you achieve that goal? Even if you are living life minimally only for a season, it will undoubtedly change the way you view life. It’s a matter of perspective on how those lessons are perceived.
Our goal for the last almost three years was to have more family time and travel the country. Now, it is to build a house without going into excessive debt while going into a volatile financial market. We own our RV and hope to buy land and slowly build while continuing to live in the RV. My desire is to continue the lifestyle even in a stick and brick home.
In this article I talked about a few of the lessons I have learned in living a minimal lifestyle. Can you live a minimal lifestyle for only a season? Yes! It does not have to be a life long commitment. You will learn things about yourself and your relationship to stuff if you do go down the road of living minimally.
How about you, have you wanted to downsize? How do you think it will impact your life if you do?